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I am looking for a tool to visualize our system landscape, including physical servers, logical servers (VMs), application servers, databases, applications, scripts, etc.

The main purpose I am pursuing is not just to get a big shiny graphic with lots of images and arrows in it, but to actually get a system representation that can furthermore be explored for reference purposes.

Most important would be that it is possible to
a) mark dependencies of systesm, i.e. application foo depends on database bar working, etc.
b) that the graph of these dependencies would actually be explorable.

What I mean with point b) is that I'd like to be able to pick one system, e.g. a server, and the tool would somehow show or highlight to me all other systems that in any way depend on the system I chose.
In other words, if I would shut down server qux which services would stop working?

Furthermore it should be possible to either zoom in or have some other way of drilling down through different levels of abstraction. The full graph of all servers/VMs/applications obviously is gonna get huge, so the ability to hide some info you don't immediately need would come in handy.

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2 Answers 2

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I found a very promising tool that might accomplish what I intend to do:

Essential Project:
http://www.enterprise-architecture.org/

It is based on 'Protégé' a powerful and widespread ontology modelling tool ( http://protege.stanford.edu/ ) and uses Apache Tomcat for publication/view of the model.

Had a short look at it and it looks quite hardcore: protégé really does allow you do do lots of stuff. Quite like that acutually, so I guess I'll give it a try.

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I know this is not the primary purpose for Nagios (it's a monitoring software), but in Nagios you can group your servers and services and create dependencies of them. Then you can surf around in various maps.

Here's some example screenshots.

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